Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Interview with young adult fantasy author Kristin Durfee

Young adult fantasy author Kristin Durfee is in the hots seat today to talk about the first book in her new trilogy, Four Corners.

Kristin is also doing a virtual book tour, and is going to be giving away a copy of Four Corners. To be entered for a chance to win the book, use the form below.

Kristin Durfee grew up outside of Philadelphia where an initial struggle with reading blossomed into a love and passion for the written word.

She has been a writer since a very young age, writing short stories and poems, though now is focusing on longer works. She is currently working on the next book in the Four Corners Trilogy.

Kristin currently resides outside of Orlando, FL, and when not enjoying the theme parks or Florida sun, she spends most of her time with her husband and their quirky dog.

She is a member of the Florida Writers Association.  

Welcome, Kristin. Please tell us about your current release.
Four Corners is the story of Aura, Queen of the cursed kingdom of Esotera, and her search for the one person that can help her break that curse. At its core, though, it is the story of two young people faced with incredibly adult choices and having to find strength in themselves they didn't know they had. I think it's a story that will resonate with readers of all ages even though the characters are in their teens.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was at Thanksgiving with my in-laws a few years ago and my niece was reading a book and I remember her saying something along the lines of how neat it would be to live in that world. For some reason the idea of her living in a magical land with dragons was so strong, I literally started writing that night. She is the inspiration for Thierra in my story. Funny enough it was also the first work I'd ever finished. I always started and abandoned works. Maybe the idea of the muse is real after all!

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on cleaning up the sequel to Four Corners to hopefully submit it to my publisher by the end of summer and working on the third (and final!) installment in the trilogy. I have a bunch of other ideas kicking around too, one for middle grade and one for adult, but I think I need more hours in the day until I can get to those.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I have and haven't considered myself a writer a number of times! In lulls I have to remind myself that I am still a writer. It is just a part of who I am. But I've always identified with loving to write since I was very young, in elementary school.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don't, though I wish I could! I work full time as a crime lab scientist. Which I think is why I enjoy writing fantasy so much, I see enough real-life in my everyday work! I try to be diligent about writing, carving out a specific time each day, but with the release of Four Corners, I was surprised to find how busy I've been promoting, writing anything new has, unfortunately, been delegated to the weekend. But if I can write for 5 hours or so a week, I'm happy. I just try to fit it in when and where I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I always have a candle burning when I write. It helps put me in that mindset. I also like listening to instrumental music, I have a pretty big playlist of Harry Potter soundtracks. Maybe I am hoping some of the magic will rub off on me.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As strange as it sounds, and as much as I always loved writing, I never saw it as a career for myself. I always was interested in science and forensics. From a VERY young age, probably 12 or 13, I wanted to be in the crime lab. Luckily my parents weren't too freaked out about a kid so focused on such a grizzly career and encouraged my path.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I was someone who struggled with reading when I was younger, and I think it's really important to put that out there and be real that learning isn't easy for everyone. I didn't really learn how to read until I was in the third grade. I credit my teacher, Ms. Slavin, with saving me in a way. Once the floodgates were opened to me, I couldn't get enough. I hope anyone out there who is struggling with learning a concept, especially one as important as reading, knows that there are people out there who can help. I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't for her and my parents recognizing that I needed some extra attention. You'd be surprised what you can do when you overcome obstacles!


Thanks, Kristin! 

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